Journalism watchdog Poynter has landed in the dog house after their recent, underhanded attempt to brand various conservatives news sites as unreliable sources, as documented by Fox News.
This failed attempt comes as efforts to censor conservatives on social media platforms are at an all-time high.
Everything You Need to Know about the Poynter Stunt
In a nutshell, Poynter compiled and published a list of “unreliable” news sites; now, while the non-profit organization supposedly constructed the list from “pre-existing databases compiled by journalists, fact-checkers and researchers around the country,” it didn’t take long for people to notice the plethora of conservative news outlets which Poynter conveniently branded as “unreliable.” It’s also worth noting that the list was influenced by an employee from the very left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The backlash which promptly followed the biased list forced Poynter into retracting it and issuing a subsequent statement on the matter. Barbara Allen, the company’s managing editor, claimed that Poynter only tried to “provide a useful tool for readers to gauge the legitimacy of the information they were consuming,” and only after publication and negative feedback did they see the issues.
In Allen’s own words:
“Soon after we published, we received complaints from those on the list and readers who objected to the inclusion of certain sites, and the exclusion of others. We began an audit to test the accuracy and veracity of the list, and while we feel that many of the sites did have a track record of publishing unreliable information, our review found weaknesses in the methodology. We detected inconsistencies between the findings of the original databases that were the sources for the list and our own rendering of the final report.”
Poynter’s managing editor concluded the public statement by issuing an apology and announcing that the organization is “removing” their list.
Somehow, it seems as though Poynter isn’t really sorry about the list itself, but more about the fact that they were called out for it.
Critics took note of this as well:
With this error, @Poynter needs to include itself in any future 'unreliable' website lists. https://t.co/IOsngAem9v
— jon gabriel (@exjon) May 3, 2019
Poynter has taken down the specious blacklist of journalists it published yesterday. They've issued an apology for their poor effort in vetting the list before calling for an ad boycott of everyone on it. https://t.co/6yyDbnMtJD
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) May 3, 2019
Poynter's list of unreliable sites is completely unreliable. They included several respectable sites on the right while omitting some of the most unreliable political sites on the left (ex: ThinkProgress). They should put themselves at the top of the list. https://t.co/Y6CokTfTtf
— (((AG))) (@AGHamilton29) May 2, 2019
How do you feel about Poynter’s little blunder? Let us know in the comments section down below!